Yuris Martinez is a first-year Esperanza teaching fellow living in intentional community in Lawrence, MA. She serves as a teaching assistant at the independent, tuition-free Esperanza Academy for middle-school-age girls from low-income backgrounds.
When a caterpillar anchors itself on a twig and forms into a chrysalis, does it know what is coming? Does it know that it will never experience the world in the same way? Does it know it will feel the sun on its body again?
When the caterpillar has finally found a way to survive and make order of this world, what calls into existence a disruption so uninvited?
Disruption triggers outrage in me. Every day I devote time and energy to claim power and control over my surroundings. So, when someone or something interrupts these systems I get offended. Every interruption is a reminder that I do not have control and that I do not know what is coming.
For me, disruption came in the form of a black eye, swollen face, and bruised body. My addiction and depression took me to a void, where the absence of feeling masqueraded as safety. On the morning when I found myself shattered I looked to my reflection and saw a self so bare. Calling in to work to inform my supervisor that I would not be in that week I sensed not just a disruption to my work but to life as I knew it.
When I had finally found a way to survive and make order of this world, what called into existence a disruption so uninvited? A disruption that changed my life’s question of “How did I get here?” to “Why am I still here?”
I am finding that Life Together itself is the disruption I have been waiting for. I have experienced a Christianity so fearful of difference that it refuses the very people that God has created. As I explore my faith and purpose I see in every training and gathering an interruption to what I thought I knew about Christ and those who call him home. Wanted as it may be, disruption still works against my desire to control. The narrative I created for myself and others no longer fits. Like the caterpillar, I am being challenged to make room for possibility.
At orientation I took Life Together in. Not wanting my movement to startle the moment, I held my breath as I heard an opening prayer spoken in Spanish. In this disruption, so sweet and jarring, I saw the possibility of the beloved community. When we closed with the Eucharist I practiced holding my hands out while waiting in line for my first communion. To take in Christ meant for me to be connected to life, to finally understand that despite the suffering caused by those who put doctrine over love, love over doctrine is not only possible but the very thing that saves us.
As we begin our time in Life Together I pray for the disruption of our ideas and identities. I pray for love and patience to see these difficult and delicate moments through. I pray for our friend, the butterfly. As it spreads its wings I wonder if it’s surprised at the body and world disruption created. I wonder if it is scared to fly, if it sees itself in all its glory. I wonder if it likes its new name, if it argued the whole way through, if it surrendered to the mystery.